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Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley

Of Inuit-Cree ancestry, Rachel was born in a tent at the northernmost tip of Baffin Island; in a hunting camp before the establishment of actual hamlets in the Arctic. Raised as a boy, she learned Inuit survival lore from her father, who was instrumental in forming Nunavut. Later in life, Rachel survived the horrific residential school system. Having witnessed the full transition of Inuit culture from tradition to modernity, she specializes in archaic dialects and balances personal shamanic experience with a university education. Together with her husband, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, she currently writes fiction and educational works that celebrate the secretive world of Arctic cosmology and shamanism. Having spent several decades as a researcher and consultant, she has published over 400 articles on culture and language, been shortlisted for several awards, and has enjoyed many years as a judge for Historica's Indigenous Arts & Stories competition. She has published approximately 20 books in various languages (mostly English), along with many shorter works. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to Canadian culture. Rachel is inspired by the "imaginal intelligence" of pre-colonial, Arctic traditions—ancient Inuit and the now-extinct Tuniit. Many such works, authored by Rachel and Sean together, are found in K-12 schools and universities across Canada and abroad. Their young adult novel of historical fiction, Skraelings, won 2nd Prize in the Governor General's Literary Awards of 2014 and 1st Prize for the Burt Award of 2015. As of the date of this bio (late 2019), their latest work is a children's book entitled Tanna's Owl.

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As part of the Union’s Equity Implementation Plan, we are committed to increasing awareness of authors who are Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQI2S, or living with a disability. This author identifies as:

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